Adani coal mine a step closer with Environment Minister endorsing groundwater approvals

James Marshall
April 10, 2019

Environment Minister Melissa Price announced that she has approved groundwater management plans submitted by the Adani Group after the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Geoscience Australia found that they meet scientific requirements, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The groundwater management plan also requires approval from the state government, the state's environmental department told Reuters last week, which is also assessing a management plan for an endangered bird.

In a statement, Price said the project was given the OK on the condition it adheres to strict environmental plans, saying the project "has been subject to the most rigorous approval process of any mining project in Australia".

However, Price reiterated it will ultimately be up to the Queensland pollies to greenlight nine remaining environmental plans.

She said the decision did not amount to final approval for the project.

It needed further approvals from the Queensland government before constructing could commence.

A Queensland government official told Reuters in February that Adani might have to wait up to two years for some environmental approvals.

Bill Shorten - who, like the government, has been caught between the conflicting imperatives of campaigning in central Queensland and in southern Australia on this issue - said the Queensland government now had to go through its processes.

The federal government is not providing any financial support to the mine or to its rail project, she said.

Queensland coalition MPs have been agitating for the minister to make her decision before Prime Minister Scott Morrison goes to the polls, expected on May 18.

It's now up to the Queensland Government to sign-off on the project.

What we need here in Queensland is jobs.

"The Liberal-Nationals coalition government backs Queensland resources workers and Queensland's coal mining communities".

Anti-Adani protesters disrupted a business lunch speech by Mr Morrison in Brisbane on Monday.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten suggested the approval was suspect, saying "maybe the government's chose to rush the decision out on Adani so they don't have to talk about a bigger problem that they have created on their own".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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